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Rail Stocks Gain on Averted Labor Strike

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Major freight railroad companies have averted a national strike as they reached a labor agreement with two rail unions and extended negotiations until February with a third. Rail stocks responded favorably Friday.

The three unions -- Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, the American Train Dispatchers Association and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees -- were the only major rail unions of 13 that had failed to reach agreements with the railroad companies before Thursday night.

Railroads and unions have averted a labor strike

Class I railroad stocks were gaining Friday. CSX (CSX - Get Report) was at $22.10, up 37 cents, or 1.7%; Union Pacific (UNP - Get Report) was at $104.25, up $1.32, or 1.3%; Canadian National (CNI) was $78.01, up 74 cents, or 1%; Kansas City Southern (KSU - Get Report) was advancing to $69.65, up 88 cents, or 1.3%; Norfolk Southern (NSC) reversed Thursday's losses and was at $75.87, up $1.09, or 1.5%; and Canadian Pacific (CP - Get Report) was at $61.25, up 96 cents, or 1.6%.

With 12 unions having reached agreements, the railroads will have two months to negotiate a deal with the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees.

"Freight rail touches nearly every sector of our economy, and we are committed to finalizing the remaining agreement so that we can continue to deliver for the tens of thousands of American businesses that rely on rail," Edward Hamberger, CEO of the Association of American Railroads, said in a statement.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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